Sunday, April 13, 2014

Liat Greenwood's Take on a Passover Poem

The Haggadah poem, va-yehi ba-hatzi ha-lailah, "And it was in the middle of the night," is explained here as an echo of a biblical verse in Exodus and of a midrash, Rabbinic interpretation. Through the use of repetition and an alphabetical acrostic structure, the poet moves us to consider additional midnight redemptions Jews experienced through the ages.

The class went outside to enjoy the spring air, and since
Passover is chag ha-aviv, the holiday of spring, to
contemplate slavery and freedom in African-American
spirituals and Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise."
Then the class drew images and/or wrote poems
about enslavement and liberation.

In class, Liat Greenwood was asked to link Passover to the literature and ideas she had studied over the course of the year or to a personal story she knew of slavery and redemption. Here is the poem that came out of the assignment, which she accompanies with a photograph she took. The poem is an impressive take on the Seder one and reminds us as well of Muriel Rukeyser's poem about Passover:

 Liat Greenwood Passover 2014